Should Inter fail to beat Fiorentina on Wednesday, Juventus will clinch their ninth consecutive Scudetto with a win over lowly Udinese on Thursday night.
Things haven’t been easy for Maurizio Sarri’s men this season, with Lazio and Inter proving formidable opposition in the title race for much of the season. But their lapse in form since Serie A restarted after the enforced coronavirus break has let La Vecchia Signora streak clear, also allowing Atalanta to surge into second place after a blistering run of form.
Udinese, meanwhile, have been hovering only a few places above the relegation zone for most of the season, but now appear to be safe; Luca Gotti’s side sitting seven points above Lecce, who occupy the third and final relegation spot, with four games to go.
Here’s 90min‘s preview of the game.
When is Kick-Off? Thursday 23 July
What Time is Kick-Off? 18:30 (BST)
Where is it Played? Dacia Arena
TV Channel/Live Stream? Premier Sports 1 (UK and ROI), LiveScore App (UK and ROI), ESPN+ (US), FuboTV (US)
Juventus will have to make do without vice-captain Leonardo Bonucci, who will be serving a one-match ban, but Federico Bernardeschi could return following the completion of his own suspension.
Mattia De Sciglio and Sami Khedira are still out inured, while Giorgio Chiellini seems unlikely to make an appearance. Gonzalo Higuain sat out the Lazio game after suffering an injury during the warm-up, but it is not thought to be serious and he could play on Thursday.
Udinese head into the game in the midst of a minor injury crisis. Walace, Mato Jajalo, Rolando Mandragora and Sebastian Prodl all absent, though Lukasz Teodorczyk could return.
Udinese: Musso; Rodrigo Becao; Nuytinck, De Maio; Stryger Larsen, Fofana, de Paul, Palumbo, Sema; Nestorovski, Lasagna
Juventus: Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Rugani, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Matuidi, Rabiot; Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo
Though Juventus managed to secure a narrow win against an injury-hit Lazio last time out, their recent form has been poor – winning just twice in their last five games. Despite that, they are still six points clear at the top of Serie A – a sad indictment of how Inter have allowed their own standards to slip of late.
Udinese have won just twice since the restart – against Roma and relegated SPAL – but are now three games without success, form that has epitomised their inconsistency this season.
Here’s how both sides have performed in their last five games.
Napoli 2-1 Udinese (19/07)
Udinese 0-0 Lazio (15/07)
Udinese 1-3 Sampdoria (12/07)
SPAL 0-3 Udinese (09/07)
Udinese 2-2 Genoa (05/07)
Juventus 2-1 Lazio (20/07)
Sassuolo 3-3 Juventus (15/07)
Juventus 2-2 Atalanta (11/07)
Milan 4-2 Juventus (07/07)
Juventus 4-1 Torino (04/07)
It is earning results against the likes of Udinese that has put Juventus within touching distance of winning yet another Serie A title.
Don’t expect a goalfest though, as Juventus’ complacency tends to come to the fore against sides who are they expected to dominate – but do expect the away team to emerge victorious.
Prediction: Udinese 0-2 Juventus